Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Cookbook Countdown #92 - Moroccan

My friend Louise hosted Cookbook Wednesday for years, but  she is not feeling so well, so it is suspended for now.
I am not taking up the weekly commitment,  I just have one of my cookbooks to 'count down' and I am going to do it on Wednesday and think of how great Louise's blog is and hope she is up to par soon!

  I am counting this as  #92 in my personal cookbook countdown.
To see the rest of them---the other 91 I've cooked from-- click here.
Go ahead--check it out--you want to see my cookbook collection, right?
If I keep on buying new ones--this will keep me busy  for the rest of my life.
And Beyond!!

The market place is at the heart of Moroccan cooking - the fragrance of fresh herbs and pungent spices, the visual thrill of intricately painted dishes and vibrantly fresh produce. 
Moroccan food is characterized by fresh, zesty and spicy flavorings.

This book has more than 120 inspiring recipes to help you create your own Moroccan feasts. Make succulent tagines, fluffy couscous covered with mouth watering stews; as well as refreshing soups and salads, tempting selections of Moroccan sweets, and conclude your feast with traditional mint tea.

A few months ago, I decided to eat healthier. That lasted for a few months and then I got derailed, but I have noticed that my portion sizes are not nearly what they used to be, and I gave up pop (soda, cokes, whatever you say) in March and now have no desire for one.
One thing I did not give up was Fireball whiskey. 
No apologies---I don't drink it often, but sometimes I do like a splash over ice.  It's sooo good.

Anyway--healthier eating--and my Moroccan cookbook.  They go hand in hand.  Moroccan food is just fresh and light, and really good. Sometimes a bit spicy, or at least spiced with unique spices, that aren't my normal.
I made a whole meal that I'm going to share with you.
We enjoyed it--even the Handyman, who is usually frightened by anything other  beef and potatoes.

My menu:
Beet Salad
Moroccan Salad
Harissa Prawns

I know that  Beets are not for everyone, but I love them.  I love to roast them and eat them warm with some butter and salt and pepper, but I also love them cold, as in this salad.
I could eat this salad all day long!

Beet  Salad
4 medium beets
water to cover and cook the beets (but I roasted them in the oven)
1 1/2 T olive oil
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 t ground cumin
salt p
2 T finely chopped fresh cilantro

Trim the stems off the beets and wash thoroughly. Place in a large saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil over med-high heat. Cooke for 1 hour or until tender.  Let set in the water to cool for 30 minutes.

OR--roast them--they taste better.

Wearing food handling gloves (to prevent staining your hands) peel the beets.  Cut into bite sized pieces and place in med-sized bowl.
Combine the olive oil, lemon juice and cumin in a small bowl, then pour the dressing over the beets and stir to coat. Season with salt and set aside for 1 hour to allow the flavors to develop.
Sprinkle with the fresh cilantro and serve.

Fresh, fresh, fresh!  That's how I feel about this crunchy veggie salad.  It was good.

Moroccan Salad
3 tomatoes, deseeded and finely diced
1 English (seedless) cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
2 green peppers, finely diced
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 T olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and freshly ground pepper

Place the tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper and red onion in a medium sized bowl.
Mix the olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl. Add to the vegetables and stir to combine.  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

And who DOESN'T like shrimp?  Just sayin'

Harissa Prawns
2.5 pounds raw tiger prawns, shelled and deveined
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 lemons cut into wedges

Harissa Marinade
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T lemon juice
2 T ground almonds
1 T finely chopped fresh flat-leaved parsley
1 T finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 t harissa paste*
1 t paprika
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t ground turmeric

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Add the prawns and toss to coat. Season with salt and ground pepper. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for a least 6 hours or overnight.

Preheat a large non-stick pan over high heat. Cook the prawns with the marinade for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until they turn pink and begin to firm.

Serve with lemon wedges.

*Harissa Paste
1 1/2 oz dried red chili peppers
boiling water to cover read chili peppers
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 t ground coriander
1 t ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
2 T olive oil, plus additional to cover

Place the red chili peppers in a medium sized bowl and cover with boiling water.  Let soak for 1 hour. Drain and coarsely chop.
Place the dried red chili peppers, garlic, coriander, cumin, and salt in a food processor or blender and blend for 10 seconds.  Continue blending and gradually add the olive oil in a thin stream until the mixture forms a paste.
Place the harissa in a clean, airtight jar and cover with a thin layer of olive oil.
Store in refrigerator.

Harissa will keep for 2-3 months in the fridge.
Use harissa to marinate meat, poultry or fish, or add it to dressings for a spicier flavor.

It was a great meal!

Do I recommend this cookbook?
I actually really like it and I'm looking forward to making Chicken stuffed with couscous and lamb tagine.  I love chickpeas too, and there are a lot of recipes with chick peas in this cookbook.
Plus I have a lot of new spices to use, so yes, I guess I do recommend it.


Katherine P said...

I have fond feelings towards Moroccan cuisine though that is mainly because we ate at the Moroccan restaurant in Epcot at Disney World and it was absolutely fabulous! This menu looks delicious and I especially love that crunchy salad. Sounds delicious!

bermudaonion said...

Carl would love to move in with you!

Trish said...

Thanks for posting the recipes! These sound delicious and give me some good ideas of something different to do especially with beets.

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